The Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Initiative, in partnership with the Academic Olympics, are hosting a pitch competition during the 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in The Hague, Netherlands, on June 3-5. The GIST Catalyst + Academic Olympics pitch competition will provide featured startups from around the world an opportunity to elevate their pitch and showcase the opportunities and challenges faced by entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs will receive coaching to perfect their business pitch to investors and potential partners -- a critical skill for entrepreneurs.
Co-hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo and Netherlands Prime Minister Rutte, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2019 convenes entrepreneurs, leading investors, policy makers, and thought leaders from across the globe. GES 2019 offers an unparalleled stage for scale-ups and a chance to showcase their enterprises before a selected group of top investors, founders, funders, experts, and policy makers. A select group of these influential startups will be chosen by global public vote to compete in the GIST Catalyst + Academic Olympics pitch competition for hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of entrepreneurial resources.
Your vote can help make sure your favorite startups get noticed. Be sure to go to http://www.gistnetwork.org/catalyst/vote to watch short pitch videos from each of the over 150 semi-finalists and cast a vote once per day from May 13 to May 24 for the startups you believe deserve a spot to pitch at the GES. Startups competing in GIST Catalyst + Academic Olympics are from the five focus industries of the GES: energy, water, health, food and agriculture, and connectivity and infrastructure. In addition to pitching at the GES, the top five finalists -- each representing one of the GES focus sectors -- will earn an opportunity to pitch in front of the entire GES at the closing plenary.
Winning GIST Catalyst changes the trajectory of startups. At GES 2017 in India, Ajaita Shah (India) won the GIST Catalyst Grand Championship with her startup Frontier Markets. Frontier markets is a last mile distribution solution for energy products with a focus on solar technology that empowers women. Frontier Markets gives women in India the tools they need to teach their communities about the benefits of solar power and sell solar products. In 2019, Ajaita Shah announced closing on a Series A investment with a variety of institutional investors that will help Frontier Markets scale in a way that drives profitability and growth, an impact fueled by the GIST Catalyst pitch competition.
Use this opportunity to explore amazing startups from across the globe and vote for entrepreneurs you think are bringing the next big thing to the market. Help fuel their startups!
About the Authors: Sarah Staton is Senior Coordinator for GIST and Partnerships and Alex Temple is an Innovation Program Analyst in the Department's Office of Science and Technology Cooperation, at the U.S. Department of State.